2018 NDLTD Leadership Award

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Tony Cargnelutti

Tony Cargnelutti’s Acceptance Remarks at ETD 2018:

September 2018
To my wonderful friends, extraordinary colleagues and all the members of the ETD community.
I would like to thank the NDLTD Awards Committee for nominating me for the 2018 Leadership Award, and to send a special and sincere thank you to the colleagues who proposed and wrote the nomination.
I am both delighted and humbled by the nomination and while I am not really sure I deserve it, I am extremely proud to accept it. My association with the NDLTD and ETD community, with the support of The University of New South Wales Library, goes back to its earlydays. Coincidently, this was at the very same time a quirky search engine called Google began disrupting things. It was 1997. As part of the NDLTD community I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to design and develop what was originally called The Australian Digital Theses Program (known as the ADT), later with the inclusion of New Zealand to be renamed The Australasian Digital Theses Program.
From the first small and tentative steps, the ADT Program evolved into a national program. It was flexible, based on a few necessary data standards and protocols, and managed at The University of New South Wales. The concept for the ADT model was driven by theCouncil of Australian University Librarians with subsequent funding by the federal government’s Australian Research Council. We didn’t realise at the time we were pioneers in demonstrating the value of collaboration and the open sharing of research outputs suchas ETDs. This was of course, all made possible by emerging information technologies.
As the ADT developed, the Australian Government began to fund and develop national programs including mandating that all universities develop digital research repositories. These government initiatives ultimately led to a more consolidated and integrated national program for all research outputs, digital theses obviously included. As a result the ADT became part of the national researchmanagement program and therefore no longer a separate entity. Mind you, there was and still is, debate as to whether or not this was a good move.
Part of my journey with the NDLTD was to contribute to, and help promote the ETD conferences, with the 8th ETD conference held atUNSW in Sydney in 2005. And now here we are in Taipei in 2018. I am delighted to see the ETD conference program has evolved into a truly international event. Finally, in my long association with the NDLTD I have had the privilege and opportunity to work with, and be inspired by, so many fabulous people. Too many to name and acknowledge here, however, I want to single out two: The late and much missed Marian Bate, University Librarian at UNSW – without whose foresight, incredible intellect and leadership, and unconditional support, the ADT would never have been. And of course, Ed Fox. Without Ed’s stewardship from the very beginning I don’t think we’d be here in 2018.
Thank you all again, and best wishes for another fabulous ETD gathering.



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